An expectant mom participates in a natural childbirth class at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.


Bringing a new baby into the world is one of the most important days in a mother's life. So having a detailed birth plan is crucial. At Missouri Baptist Medical Center (MoBap), chief of obstetrics and gynecology Dr. David Weinstein says his hospital is ready to meet each mom’s unique needs.

While most expectant moms still opt for a traditional delivery, Weinstein says during the past five years, the desire for a natural childbirth has doubled at MoBap. Since about 20 percent of patients will opt for a more holistic, natural childbirth experience, the hospital ensures knowledgeable staff and new technology are on hand 24/7 to make that happen. "It's not our labor and delivery, it’s the patient’s," Weinstein notes. "Our role is to be supportive of that and make sure it happens in a safe environment."

For each mom, a natural birth can mean different things. “Some people want to avoid being induced, others want to avoid having an epidural, and still others want to avoid a C-section,” Weinstein explains. Whatever their preference, he says patients should communicate their desires to their physician prior to delivery.

Before having a natural birth, moms need to do their homework, Weinstein emphasizes. “She needs to find out what natural birth is by reading about it and attending classes, and she should ensure her partner and physician are supportive.” And patients should tour the facility and learn about its natural childbirth services, Weinstein adds.

There is a wide range of natural childbirth options and resources at MoBap. Prior to delivery, patients and their partners can take a four-week natural childbirth class, where they learn breathing techniques, labor positions and other preparation tools. “If you understand the labor process, it can help you manage your pain, because different points in the labor process have different pain,” Weinstein notes.

And throughout the labor process, patients can choose to be as active as they would like using the hospital’s new technology—a mobile fetal heart monitor, which allows monitoring of the baby’s heart as the patient moves around the Childbirth Center. The device also is waterproof—safe to use in the shower or in the warm water labor pool.

The staff is another unique benefit of MoBap, Weinstein says. “Our labor and delivery nurses all have a depth of experience and passion for this because it’s something they love to do."

As for other birth alternatives, MoBap offers vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). “Many hospitals aren’t supportive of this because of associated risks,” Weinstein says. “But our philosophy is to support patients who want to have a VBAC if it can be done safely for mother and baby.”

MoBap has long been regarded as a community leader in natural childbirth, Weinstein concludes. “Doctors and doulas will steer patients here for a supportive, safe and meaningful experience. We have the resources of a large hospital, but we also can provide customized care for a wonderful, individualized birthing experience in a safe environment.”

ON THE COVER: In addition to traditional delivery services, Missouri Baptist Medical Center offers a natural childbirth experience through knowledgeable staff and new technology. For more information, visit 996-5751 or visit

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